The 2017 Sony Impact Award went to one of the most inspiring photographers to ever wield a camera and lens, Jaleel King. At the awards ceremony at the WPPI show in Las Vegas, King was presented with the award by Pulitzer-Prize winner Brian Smith. In his remarks, Smith was emotional as he described his friendship and deep admiration for King.
And in a Tweet shortly after he was presented with the Sony Impact Award, King wrote, “I'm so honored and humbled to be the #2017 @Sony Impact Award Winner at #WPPI2017 @rfwppi! Thank you all for your support! #inspiration #love#photography”
Jaleel King is a gifted photographer who departed from studying computers for a life in the art world. Pursuing his passion, King enrolled in The Art Institute to study photography and the world is a visually richer place because of that decision.
King has a special perspective on the world, both figuratively and literally. After a tragic incident when he was a boy, King has been confined to a wheelchair. “I have been a wheelchair user since age 8, and I am a photographer who has a different perspective on how I visually see life. Allowing me to never accept the whys as excuses and going for why nots as the challenges in order to overcome to them, as seen in my work. I was led into a world that is beautiful and challenging at the same time! A world filled with raw emotion and randomness that make each moment and click of the shutter so UNIQUE!”
In this video, King describes the shooting that put him in his wheelchair.
Where many would have embarked on a life of bitter resentment, King would have none of it. On his Instagram, you see images that are filled with joy, curiosity, whimsy and a deep dedication to the craft of photography.